Margo Guryan, RIP
Songwriter and musician Margo Guryan, best known for writing "Sunday Mornin'," which was a hit for Spanky and Our Gang in 1968, died at her Los Angeles home on November 8. She was 84.
Born in New York City in 1937, Margo attended the Lenox School of Jazz in 1959 where, alongside fellow students Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry, she was taught by Bill Evans, Max Roach, Milt Jackson, Jim Hall, John Lewis and Gunther Schuller, and others. She had her first songwriting success in 1967 with "Think of Rain," which was recorded by Harry Nilsson, Bobby Sherman, Claudine Longet and others. "Sunday Mornin'" was also a hit for Oliver, and Glenn Campbell and Bobbie Gentry recorded it as a duet.
Margo recorded both those songs herself on her debut -- and only -- album, 1968's Take a Picture, a wonderful album of wistful, jazzy sunshine pop. It didn't get much attention when it was released, but the album, and Margo, would gain cult status in the '90s -- Saint Etienne covered her song "I Don't Intend to Spend Christmas Without You" as a 1998 holiday single -- and Take a Picture got reissued in 2000, bringing it to a whole new audience.
Sundazed Record, who released a reissue of Take a Picture and compilation of Margo's demos, wrote, "We've been so honored to have her cult favorite Take A Picture in our catalog. It's one of those special albums that just seems to mature with age like a great wine, getting more and more fans and acclaim as the years pass. Personally, as much as I (Jay) love TAP, I find her demos even more special. Her voice is always intimate, somehow both strong yet delicate, and the demos add a pinch more intimacy and magic to one of our favorite voices."
Saint Etienne's Bob Stanley shared her song "Sun" on Twitter, writing, "Goodbye Margo Guryan. Grew up loving Bach, pals with Ornette Coleman, then had her head turned by Pet Sounds - with her heaven-sent breathy voice, the result was totally unique music. I love her songs so much. I mean, this is something else."
Rest in peace, Margo. You can listen to Take a Picture, and read more tributes from The Charlatans' Tim Burgess, Anton Newcombe (The Brian Jonestown Massacre), Kip Berman (Pains of Being Pure at Heart) and more, below.